Amber Hoskins - 2016 Program Participant
What inspired you to go abroad?
There were many reasons that inspired me to go abroad. After hearing the details of the program and what it had to offer along with my desire to travel, I came to the decision that this was something that I wanted to do.
Why did you choose Classport?
This program was the only one offered at the time, since this was our university's first time participating in sending students abroad for student teaching. However, I wouldn't have had it any other way. The staff were very professional, and I know that the reason I enjoyed this opportunity was because of Classport's dedication and support. If you needed something or had a question, all you have to do is email or text and you would get a response quickly. I was very impressed by Classport and would encourage others to consider using them for your study abroad opportunities.
What was your favorite part about Ireland?
There were many aspects of Ireland that I loved. I found it very refreshing that the Irish people are very kind and genuine and the country is absolutely exquisite. I think my favorite part about Ireland was that I felt at home.
What made your experience abroad unique?
I think what made my experience abroad unique is that I felt as though I had known everyone (the staff, my host family, and the employees at my placement) for a very long time.
How did local staff support you throughout your program?
The local staff were very supportive throughout my program. While I was there, I injured my foot. The staff helped me to find a place to look at my foot and provided suggestions on alternative ways for me to get around that did not involve as much walking. I knew that they were genuinely concerned for me and that meant a lot. Also, you could easily get in contact with the local staff - they were only a text message away.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I regret not experiencing more. I know that there were opportunities to do so, but I did not take them. I kept thinking that there would be more time to experience more, but there wasn't. A month goes by rather quickly.
Describe a typical day in the life of your program.
We would wake up around 7 a.m. to begin getting ready for the day. Then we’d walk to the bus stop and take either the 46A or the 75 to the street that we would walk up to get to the school. The school began at 9 a.m., and we would go about our day helping our cooperating teacher. Since I was with the senior infants (who leave at 1:30 p.m.), I would either be with other teacher and would answer questions about America, or I would help my cooperating teacher with the next day's lesson.
I would leave at 2:30 p.m., when school was over. After school was out, there were different things we did. Sometimes we would go to Dún Laoghaire and explore, other times we went to Dublin City Centre, and other times we went back to where we were staying to work on out lessons. No matter what though, we tried to make sure we were back home by 6 p.m. to have dinner with our host family.
After dinner, we usually spent the time talking with our host family. Although, there were times when we would go out to get some coffee or to go explore Dún Laoghaire or Dublin City Centre. The weekends were reserved for experiencing Ireland and resting up.
What did you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoyed going to Dún Laoghaire and going to Dublin City Centre, and found out that I apparently have an addiction to shopping. If you knew me, you would find that hard to believe.
What was your accommodation like? What did you like best about it?
Our host family was very warm. From day one, they made us feel as though we were part of their family and that was something that I was thankful for.
What is one thing every participant should know before participating in your program?
Your lessons are important, but remember that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Make memories and enjoy yourself. Make sure that you have no regrets.
Now that you're home, how has your time abroad impacted your life?
I have gained knowledge from my time in Ireland and have also gained memories. I find myself thinking of Ireland often and wishing that I was still there most of the time. A month sounds like a long time, but in reality it isn't. It flies by and before you know it, you're back home.
Would you recommend Classport to others? Why?
Yes, I would most definitely recommend Classport to others. The staff were very professional and I know that the reason I enjoyed this opportunity was because of Classport's dedication and support. If you needed something or had a question, all you have to do is email or text and you would get a response quickly. I was very impressed by Classport and would encourage others to consider using them for your study abroad opportunities.